Catalan Leader Threatens to Declare Full Independence if Spain Suspends Region’s Autonomy

Catalonia will declare full independence from Spain if the Madrid Government follows through on a threat to suspend the region’s autonomy, Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, says in a letter to Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy.

“If the government of the [Spanish] state insists on refusing dialogue and continuing with repression, the Parliament of Catalonia can proceed, if it deems it appropriate, to vote on the formal declaration of independence,” Puigdemont says.

With his latest letter, the Catalan leader has for the second time in a week dodged an ultimatum from Madrid to set aside secessionist bids, or else face the activation of article 155 of the constitution.

The article 155 of the constitution allows the government to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy.

The crisis centres on an Oct. 1 referendum on independence that was banned by the Constitutional Court and obstructed violently by Spanish police.

It went ahead, and Catalan authorities say an overwhelming but unverified result gives them a mandate to secede.

Also, the Spanish government says it will hold an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Saturday to trigger procedures to suspend home rule in Catalonia.

“The Spanish government will continue with the procedures foreseen by article 155 of the Constitution to restore legality in the self-government of Catalonia.

Next Saturday the Council of Ministers, meeting extraordinarily, will approve the measures to be submitted to the Senate to protect the general interest of the Spanish, including the citizens of Catalonia, and to restore constitutional order in Catalonia,” the statement said.

The statement was issued after Catalan President Carles Puigdemont failed to respond to ultimatum from Rajoy to formally set aside his region’s secessionist plans.


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